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How to Bring Your Loved Ones Closer with Peter Walsh's Challenge

Updated on February 3, 2010

A family was featured on the Oprah show this week that was completely disconnected from each other. They would go about their separate lives barely communicating and didn't even eat meals together, eager to escape each others company to rush off and check email, facebook, text messages, etc. With all the activities outside the home and spending the rest of their free time individually on the computer, video games, cell phone or TV, family time was non-existent and rarely was time for each other a priority.

Sound Familiar?

I don't think most of us realize how our addiction to electronics has eroded family connection.  This show was a real eye opener that I think many families can relate to.  Children do not need more stuff, they need you.  Sitting in front of the TV or a video game does not teach a child social skills.  They need healthy, happy interaction and motivation to exercise.

Could you do it?

Peter Walsh, a life organizational expert was a guest on the show to help this family reconnect. His solution – take away all and I mean all electronics for seven days including cell phones, computer and TV.

I could do without the TV since I already don't have cable. Hard to believe, I know but I do get three stations with rabbit ears (so I am able to watch Oprah). I have a 42" flat screen television which I prefer to watch movies on over television and would rather put my money there than on cable.

Anyway back to this family.... So busy and lost in their own worlds dependent on electronics they had forgotten how to communicate. Along with the challenge to live without electronics, they were given tasks to complete and the first was to de-clutter in order to create a more relaxed, welcoming harmonious household. Another was to make healthy meals and eat together. Taking the time to simply eat a meal together provides an opportunity to come together and communicate. No more excuses with a week without the computer or cell phone.

The challenge was met with some resistance in the beginning but in only one week they became a more loving, happy reconnected family. They said that it wasn't as difficult as they thought it would be and the rewards were well worth the effort.

New rules have now been established in their home which includes:

1. Reduced electronics for more quality family time.

2. Everyone pitching in to keep the house clean and organized. A home where you have just given up and want to escape from does not evoke harmony.

3. Prepare and eat healthy meals together.

4. Hug and say "I love you to each family member at least once a day and parents have a date night once a month.

I believe a cluttered home results in a cluttered head.

Like many of you, I find hubpages addictive and was letting things go in my home. I needed to create more balance and have written a hub on getting organized. Oprah has a saying that "Your home should rise up to meet you at the door" and Peter Walsh brings home that message repeatedly.

Some of Peter Walsh's tips to de-clutter:

Sort "FAST"

Fix a time and stick to it.  Haul out any item that fits into one of the following categories.

Anything you haven't used in a year.

Stuff that doesn't belong.

Trash

I also believe that our time is a valuable gift that is extremely unappreciated. We tend to take what little time we have for granted until you wake up one day and wonder where did the time go? It's difficult to know how to make the best use of our time. One thing I do know is that packing your day so full to a point of busily running from one activity to another does not make for a happy, healthy person or family. Sometimes the best use of our time is simply being in the moment with a loved one.

When I look back at the happy times in my family, they were simple. Such as playing games, taking a few minutes in the morning with my kids before rushing them off to school and me to work, camping, lounging outside with a good book, cooking with my mom and simply having a beer chatting with my dad. These were precious moments that brought us together. I treasure the memories and strive to make more.

Maybe this is a good time to re-evaluate and start the New Year fresh, focused and free.  Clear the clutter from our home and minds.  Take the time and effort to communicate and relate to our loved ones on a more personal level and reconnect.  Write, send cards or letters.  Laugh, play games.  Read, share a story.  Sit, enjoy a quiet Sunday morning.  Awaken to a peaceful calm within ourselves and truly appreciate each other.           

He says "it's a mindset. It is simple, yet profound". Be in control of where you want your life to go. It's well worth the commitment.

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    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 

      7 years ago

      Great hub Ulivaulearn

      Family and closeness is so important.

      I work very hard at my job and on keeping my house clean, etc., and I spend more time on the internet than I should.

    • uliveulearn profile imageAUTHOR

      uliveulearn 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Oh you are so right Peg, I too remember playing games with my family by candlelight when the power was off and having a great time. It also made the whole neighborhood take five, get outside and chit chat. Felt like camping. I wasn't anxious for the power and TV to come back on. Maybe we need to start an annual in home camping tradition. Thanks for the comment.

    • uliveulearn profile imageAUTHOR

      uliveulearn 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for stopping by Micky Dee. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      How true this is. And maybe all these electronics are the cause of our deteriorating family unit and social values. Too much exposure to violence even on the cartoons!

      I liked what you said about when you "look back at the happy times in my family". For me it was about playing Monopoly or Scrabble as a family, our times at the dinner table offering a prayer of thanks, or the times we weathered a huricane without any electricity - we had time to talk.

      Great hub and well written. Enjoyed it and looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Great hub UliveUlearn. Thanks

    • uliveulearn profile imageAUTHOR

      uliveulearn 

      8 years ago from Canada

      We can all so relate. If you read my hub on "HubPages and Time Management", you will see that I have had my difficulty in leaving the computer to get dressed, lol. Thanks for the comment heart4theword.

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 

      8 years ago from hub

      I have to say, I had to go without checking hub-pages for 5 days when I first started. It was really hard not to work on it, I felt like my scores were going to go down. I was able to do it, but it was hard. Things worked out and my score actually went up one point during that time. We do need less electronics and more one on one family time, just to keep up on what's going on with our kids:)

    • uliveulearn profile imageAUTHOR

      uliveulearn 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for stopping by febriedethan. Yes, it is surprising when we think about it how much we tune out our family with electronics. I have seen people text someone while trying to have a face to face conversation with someone else.

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 

      8 years ago from Indonesia

      This is wonderful and made me realize I do stuck with internet everyday :) and I don't know if I can live without that or not, but I think I can if I have too haha. But I agree that our quality time with family is the most important matter. Thank you for sharing this!

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